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Dominican and Haitian Face Five Years In Prison For Picking Up 2.2 Pounds of Cocaine At Post Office

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CHARLOTTE AMALIE – A native of the Dominican Republic and a native of Haiti were arrested on Monday on charges that they tried to smuggle 2.2 pounds of cocaine into the territory.

Tommy Ramirez, 29, of Santo Domingo and Ramon Clavel, 55, of Port-au-Prince, were detained on a criminal complaint charging them with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.

Ramirez and Clavel made their initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller and were detained pending further proceedings.

According to the complaint, on Monday, Ramirez and Clavel presented themselves at the post office to claim a package that contained one kilogram of cocaine, a controlled substance.

If convicted of possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance, Ramirez and Clavel face a minimum sentence of five years and a fine of $250,000.00.

Shappert said that a complaint is merely a formal charging document and is not in and of itself evidence of guilt.

“Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty,” she said.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sigrid Tejo-Sprotte.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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